Monday, January 09, 2012

celebrating in Baltimore...

Last weekend for New Year's we went up to Baltimore to celebrate with my family. We left on Thursday after Andy got off from work, made it up to my sister's house by midnight, and then we got back to NC Tuesday evening.
I had so much fun with my family! We had a girls lunch on Friday while Andy and my dad went to check out Dover and the planes on display there. I think they had a good time. We all hung out at my parent's house and had homemade pizza - made by my brothers and watched a movie. Saturday my sister and I did a little grocery shopping and got supplies for New Year's eve snacking.
Andy was hard at work making us some delicious bbq for dinner the next day.

We all gathered at my parent's house again to hang out on Saturday night and we all made some of our favorite party foods to share. We ended up playing a hysterical game of Balderdash and pulled out some home videos to watch while waiting to ring in the new year.
It was a little scary.
But fun.
And we briefly skyped with our Grandmother in Texas to wish her a Happy New Year.

Andy didn't make it to midnight.
But my niece did. She kept us entertained all evening.

On Sunday we celebrated a belated Christmas.

We did a gift exchange like we have done in a few previous years, but this year we tried using an online secret santa website: elfster.com. It worked out really well - you just have someone enter all the emails (of the people who you are inviting to participate) and then it sends out an email and once they accept it, then the site draws the names and makes sure that no one gets their own name. Each person can log in and add links to things they want or just a general description with sizes or favorite colors or whatever. Makes a gift exchange with a group or big family super easy! I got my mom and I gave her a book she had asked for and some earrings. My dad had me and gave me some these beautiful Noonday earrings - which I love and they support both international adoption and artisans in Africa. I found out about Noonday from this neat blog. Andy got an iTunes gift card from my sister and brother-in-law - which is great because he is still loving his iPhone and putting new songs on there. 

My parents also gave each family a fun basket with candy, books, a candle, some Ravens stuff for Andy (my mom made a fleece scarf and my dad got him a jersey!), and my mom made this little quilt for Andy. It is a pin quilt for all his Red Cross and military pins - he had seen someone who had something similar and I told my mom about it. He really loves it. Thanks to everyone for the fun gifts and a good time celebrating together!


My mom really wanted to get some family photos this year.
While we were waiting for the whole family to gather,
I took a few photos of my parents - I love this one of them!

my brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby in May
they are so cute and are going to make great parents
check out a few more of their photos on my abigail lauren photography blog

This was my pick for our best group shot.
We had fun with the Ravens theme 
and they even won that day and are going to the playoffs.

And that was most of our trip. Andy and I went around and visited with a few of our friends on Monday and then we were on the road Tuesday morning. I started getting sick on Tuesday on the way home and am still not feeling well. Meds aren't kicking in like I hoped they would, so I will probably be heading back to the doctor today or tomorrow. My sore throat and ear infection are clearing up, but I am coughing, dragging, and having asthma issues. Lovely.

But we had a great time and were so thankful that we were able to stay with my sister and her husband and see everyone.

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